Singaporean cuisine is a combination of traditional and modern cooking methods that have become part of the country’s cultural makeup. A combination of Szechwan, Peranakan, Chinese, and English influences, Singaporean cuisine has evolved into a colorful and vibrant blend of flavors from all over Asia.
With the exception of Indonesian and Indian cuisines, Singaporean cuisine has almost nothing in common with any other cuisine in the world. Here are some of the prominent Singaporean dishes that have become a popular international cuisine phenomenon.
It is probably no surprise that hawker centers, or food courts as they are also known, are among the most popular places to eat in Singapore. The sheer number of food courts scattered across Singapore makes it impossible to visit them all and find something you like.
Of course, hawker centers have their own distinct flavors and styles but there is no denying the popularity of Chinese and Malay food courts. There are many popular hawker centers in Singapore, including the ones at Clarke Quay, Orchard Road, Ann Siang Road, and the busiest spot at Sentosa – the eastern end of the Singapore River.
The MRT station, which serves as an effective transportation link between these destinations, can also be an ideal place to go and get some Singaporean dishes. If you want to learn more about Singaporean cooking schools and the unique way of preparing hawker food, there are several Singaporean tour packages available.
The local tour guides are very informative about the history of cooking classes in Singapore and their various methods of preparing meals. Most of these tours provide cooking classes in Singapore, whether in cooking classes inside the restaurants, taking cooking classes outside in the streets, or and more.
A good local Singaporean food tour guide can easily take you through all the popular spots of interest in and around Singapore, from the best shopping spots to some great eating places.
On the east coast, not far from Singapore, is the small Chinese community of Cameron Highlands, which is famous for its hawker centers that sell both Indian and Chinese food. These Chinese hawker centers have long been a source of attraction for both tourists and local residents of Singapore.
In fact, Chinese immigrants have made this area their home for many years. Another interesting Chinese community is the Penangese, who make the popular curry Churros, using an ingredient that is actually a derivative of the Indian curd-chutney. If you are looking for Japanese food, read more about it here in this detailed guide on Japanese food in Singapore.
Over at the Western edge of Singapore, there is a town called New Singapore whose residents are mostly Chinese. Here, you will find world-class Chinese restaurants and street hawkers selling all kinds of Singaporean foods, such as Chinese delis, sandwiches, char kway too, bah kut the, and hook up.
Other popular Chinese dishes include Chinese chicken rice, char kway Teow, cubed beef with vegetables and sauce, fried squid, and oyster omelet. Fried rice is also a very popular dish here, as well as dim sum, a variety of noodles known as “nasi kandar”.
Seafood is also popular in Singapore, with Angus and lobster being some of the most popular meats sold here. Of course, the most popular fish to eat here is the mussel, which can be found in various sizes, shapes, and colors.
Singaporean bread is often served with a spicy chili sauce. The most popular chili-style sauce is the Char Kway Teow, which is made by deep-frying thin strips of char skewered on a skewer and is rich with garlic, chili, and vinegar.
Other popular sauces include the all-time favorite hot and sour sauce, which is generally a mix of vinegar and mustard; and sweet and sour, which is a blend of vinegar and honey. Pork is also frequently served when it comes to Singaporean food, although chicken is more common.
You will see chicken being served as part of many dishes, although pork is more common, especially in Chinese hawker centers. Spicy Sambal is a delicacy from Singapore. It is made by mixing tamarind, salt, and red chili peppers in a wooden container, which is then slowly roasted in a pit oven over low heat.
The resulting sauce is a very thick, spicy, and sour soup that is commonly served with Singaporean Chinese foods. Other popular spicier symbol dishes include the popular Char Kway Teow, which is made with char skewered strips of beef.
This is very similar to Bahari (bitter melon) teow, while Fried Egg is fried in a flour mix, making for a delicious and unique snack. All these are best enjoyed when they are served in their original dishes but can be served with pickled vegetables.
Hokkien mee is a popular traditional Singaporean soup dish consisting of small pieces of prawn, chicken, or fish, mixed with vegetables and served with sweet coconut sauces. A popular choice of seafood in Singaporean food is the blackfin tuna (also known as the kingfish), which is a popular delicacy in China, Korea, and Japan.
Although prawns are a widely available delicacy, Hokkien mee is more popular with locals and tourists alike, owing largely to its use of aromatic tropical spices and fishy broth.
As well as being a popular lunch and dinner staple, Hokkien mee is also frequently served as a part of Chinese stir-fry, which is often served alongside crispy meats, seafood, and vegetables.